Thursday, September 27, 2012

Creativity – A Divine Actuation


"While it is true that scientific results are entirely independent from religious or moral considerations, those individuals to whom we owe the great creative achievements of science were all of them imbued with the truly religious conviction that this universe of ours is something perfect and susceptible to the rational striving for knowledge. If this conviction had not been a strongly emotional one and if those searching for knowledge had not been inspired by Spinoza’s Amor Dei Intellectualis, they would hardly have been capable of that untiring devotion which alone enables man to attain his greatest achievements." …………Albert Einstein

The source of human creativity in the fields of art, science and technology has been the study in various disciplines such as neurobiology, philosophy, anthropology etc,.
When I read the observation of Einstein, I could relate to his understanding from two different perspectives.
One of these perspectives is a subjective experience, especially as person who dabbles in poetry and how there seems to be no rational in the way ideas form in your mind and as to how the poetry flows as you start to pen the words. There seems to be some hidden force which propels this action. The idea with which the poem was started and the way it has evolved during the time it takes shape are many times in no way connected. It is like patterns of liquid flow emerging when one topples a bottle of ink on to a white sheet of paper. An emerging fractal which can be extracted only through a very discerning mind.
The second perspective is more objective and weaned from the deep understanding of this great mind, namely; Einstein. He had this uncanny capability to question all established norms and he thoroughly understood the process of creativity without the vain glory of an ego dominated reasoning. Scientists like Galileo Galilee, Copernicus, Newton, Darwin and many of his contemporaries, especially with whom he had conducted thought experiments on Quantum physics, were deeply religious people.

A strong faith in the power of that which is beyond the human intellect prepares the ground for sowing the seed of innovative thinking. This reasoning can be approached through a process of falsification. If one has belief only in one’s own intelligence or a self collated database, there sets in a limitation or boundary beyond which the mind cannot probe. As all processes involving the human species are evolutionary in nature. The past and its contents, especially intellectual, cannot be the source for innovative and creative thinking or action. The needed inputs have to be pulled in from a domain yet unravelled.

It is interesting that Einstein refers to Spinoza and his “Amor Dei Intellectualis”. It would be interesting to see why.
Lewis Almeida writing a commentary on Spinoza captures the background of Spinoza’s philosophy and his “Amor Dei Intellectualis” in these words:
“Ruach Hakodesh pervades the writings of Baruch Spinoza, the Holy Spirit that has breathed through the wisdom literature of Israel from the days of the philosopher king, Solomon, and even earlier.  Spinoza’s amor Dei intellectualis, the spiritual love of God, is closet to the Hebrew simchah shelmitzvah, the joy of the law.  In the ideology of Spinoza, living by the law of wisdom was identical with obedience to the divine principle.  The teachings of the Kabbalah had tremendous influence upon him.  The cardinal idea of the Kabbalah, the Ain Sof (no-end-infinite) from which all being emanates, can easily be identified with Spinoza’s Substantia, the Endless, the All.
 Spinoza’s epistemology is based on the three forms of knowledge: 1) Vague understanding; (2) reason, and (3) intuition.  It bears close resemblance to the Kabbalastic idea of (a). chochmah, wisdom: (b). binah, reason, and (c). daat, perception.”

Einstein, given his Jewish upbringing and his intellectual openness mapped his ideas on to another great Jewish philosopher, Spinoza.

Einstein was a deeply spiritual person and his spirituality transcended the personal God and thus he was in a position to tap into this vast resource beyond narrow limitation into the creative Divine potential available to all who seek with an intuitive mind.

Love to you all

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